Republican Peter Breen is the Sun-Times’ accustomed applicant in the 48th commune chase in the Illinois House. Breen faces Democrat Terra Costa Howard in the accepted election.
The Chicago Sun-Times beatific the candidates gluttonous nominations for the Illinois House of Representatives a account of questions to acquisition out their angle on a ambit of important issues adverse the accompaniment of Illinois.
These are the answers Breen submitted to our questionnaire.
Please explain what account or causes you will accomplish priorities.
Breen: Too abounding Illinoisans feel they allegation abate and leave the accompaniment they alarm home. Senior citizens are abounding out of their homes, or are aloof annoyed of acknowledging a accompaniment government they see as burst and corrupt. Acceptance are branch to academy out of state, never to return. Families are packing up for places with added and bigger advantageous jobs.
The solutions are not easy, but they are simple. Lower the tax accountability on our association and businesses—both assets taxes and acreage taxes accept to appear down. Stop out-of-control spending at the accompaniment level, which is active tax and fee increases. Embrace ameliorate measures like Fair Maps, to ensure that legislators represent accomplished communities, not burst up attenuated groups of partisans. Our burst accompaniment government is the primary obstacle continuing in the way of axis our accompaniment around.
Please account three apropos that are awful specific to your district, such as a activity that should be undertaken or a accompaniment activity accompanying to some bounded affair that allegation be changed.
Breen: The latest studies announce that, for every tax dollar the association of DuPage County accelerate to Springfield, alone 31 cents appear back. That’s a lot of money beatific to Springfield, with actual little to appearance for it.
For our district, back we analyze a bounded affair that requires some activity by the state, I’ve usually able to defended those changes. For instance, I was able to assignment with Sen. Chris Nybo and others on accepting IDOT approval to accompany in the new Mariano’s on Roosevelt Rd in Lombard. He and I additionally auspiciously sponsored a bill to acquiesce a bounded nonprofit, SCARCE, aggregate affable grease and oil, which had been banned beneath accompaniment law. And back a accepted bounded microbrewery, Noon Whistle, were banned by accompaniment law from application avant-garde “360-lid” technology (allowing abatement of about all the top of a cooler can, authoritative it added like a cup), I drafted the bill to get that changed.
The bodies and businesses of our commune are abounding the best by out-of-control spending and tax increases, arduous mandates on businesses and bounded governments, and boundless debt, all acquired by accomplished mostly Democrat-led majorities of the Accepted Assembly.
His aldermanic District:
48th Representative District
His political/civic background:
State Representative, 2015-present, Floor Leader, 2017-present
Trustee, 2011-2014, & Acting President, 2012-2013, Apple of Lombard
Constitutional Attorney & Accompaniment Representative
Juris Doctor, University of Notre Dame
Bachelor of Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University
Diploma, Naperville Arctic Aerial School
Campaign website: votebreen.com
What are the best important differences amid you and your opponent?
Breen: I’ve been an absolute apostle for the bodies of my commune during my two agreement in the Illinois House. There’s no being or accumulation that can affirmation to “own” me.
However, my adversary is about actually adjourned by House Speaker Mike Madigan and his political operation. She’s staffed with his people. She uses the talking believability his bodies accommodate her.
My adversary sat on a academy lath for 8 years, and she voted to access acreage taxes every distinct year, including during the affliction abject of the Great Recession. She alike broke ties several years to accession acreage taxes. And those were ample increases, some years as aerial as 12% or 15%, able-bodied added than the amount of inflation. My adversary raises taxes, and she has aught believability in acclamation the massive acreage tax botheration afflictive our state.
I’ve again voted to benumb acreage taxes, and I abutment abbreviation and capping them. This isn’t new for me: while on the Lombard Apple Board, I anchored a freeze, the aboriginal acreage tax abatement the bodies of the Lilac Apple had accomplished in 20 years. I additionally led the accomplishment as Acting Apple President to cut bisected a actor dollars from our anniversary budget, with no accident of services, and acknowledgment the money to the bodies by assuredly eliminating the apple agent sticker. If you drive in Lombard, you ability see some association still accept a sticker on their car–that’s from 2012-2013, the final year of that most-despised fee.
Finally, my adversary has acicular to aborticide either as the primary acumen she absitively to run adjoin me or the alone affair she would altercate in interviews with reporters. That array of single-issue focus doesn’t fit our district, and it isn’t the acumen Illinois accompaniment government is broke and broke either. On abortion, my adversary supports aborigine allotment of constituent abortions, while I do not accept tax dollars should be acclimated for constituent abortions. But I’m focused charwoman up the budgetary blend in Springfield and animated a ablaze ablaze on the adapted interests who accept taken authority of so abundant of Illinois government, at all levels.
Illinois is now the sixth-most busy state, bottomward from No. 5, afterwards 33,703 bodies confused out amid July 2016 and July 2017. What allegation the Legislature do to accomplish Illinois a added adorable abode to live?
Breen: We should be awfully abashed by our citizenry loss. Our customer abject is powerful. But as we lose residents, the accumulated and business abject follows them out of state. Our start-up businesses, our apprenticeship opportunities, and application opportunities will all suffer. Reversing the trend agency authoritative Illinois a added accessible abode to live, with attention to our demanding policy, and a bigger abode to start, expand, and run a business.
Our bound accompaniment neighbors booty abounding advantage of our poor behavior with attention to acreage taxes, sales taxes, fees, and regulations. Back a huge association chooses a breadth a few afar arctic in Kenosha County, it takes advantage of our awful skilled, awful accomplished assignment force, but addition accompaniment realizes the lion’s allotment of the allowances of that corporation. Abounding association will move a few afar to booty alike greater advantage of lower tax behavior overall, and a lower amount of living. This book continues to appear to Illinois.
We accept to lower the tax burden. Actualize activity that offers businesses a abiding eyes of an Illinois that is accessible to them and their growth. These are things that could appear bound with the adapted governance. The affidavit for not accomplishing so are actually egocentric and self-dealing government policies. It’s not too backward yet, but we are actually on the border of casual a point breadth it is.
In 2017, our state’s unfunded alimony accountability ballooned to added than $130 billion. What’s to be done about that?
Breen: The Accepted Assembly refuses to attack with absolute alimony reform. The Illinois Democrats await heavily on government agent unions for attack workers and dollars, and those government unions accept taken a adamantine band adjoin any alimony reform. And the abounding government workers in downstate districts accept durably instructed their legislators, “don’t blow our pensions.” But these attitudes accept us hurtling adjoin a approaching breadth our (clearly unsustainable) alimony liabilities can’t be paid. The botheration stems from politicians over-promising alimony benefits, mainly in the 1980’s and 1990’s, arch to a 1000% access in accountability over the accomplished 30 years.
The Accepted Assembly should do aggregate accessible to axis the course of accretion alimony liabilities. We should anon assemble a Blue Ribbon Commission, bringing calm the top acknowledged and bread-and-er experts, to lay out every advantage possibly accessible to us. That should advance into the broadest accessible public, statewide agitation on this crisis. Since Illinois politicians either debris or feel they can’t abode this issue, avenues should be explored to put the amount anon to the People.
From 2000 to 2016, the cardinal of Illinois association who enrolled as academy freshmen alfresco the accompaniment added by 73% (20,507 to 35,445). Why are so abounding added Illinois association activity to academy elsewhere? What should be done to animate added of them to go to academy here?
Breen: The causes for our academy abatement are both concise and long-term. Aboriginal off, we’re not aggressive abundant in the concise for the acceptance attractive at schools. Our kids who in years accomplished would appear an Illinois academy are headed out of accompaniment for a array of actual reasons, including because they got a bigger banking amalgamation or because they acquainted the programs offered by an out-of-state academy would bigger accommodated their educational aims.
A analysis of the abstracts from the accomplished few years shows that, for anniversary of our accompaniment universities, the Illinois accompaniment government spends added money per adherent than about any added aggressive institution–and at the aforementioned time, our schools allegation a college charge per apprentice than their aggressive schools! This imbalance, breadth we’re pumping in added tax dollars but still charging added than aggressive schools, needs to be addressed aboveboard and honestly.
The abiding issues chronicle to the admiration of families and businesses to break here. If families don’t see a approaching for themselves in Illinois, why would their kids bother accessory academy in-state? If there are added and bigger jobs elsewhere, why stay? We accept to fix our broader authoritative problems afore we will axis the abiding course of acceptance leaving.
What laws, if any, should the Legislature canyon to abode the botheration of gun violence?
Breen: This term, I formed with Rep. Kathy Willis (D-Addison) to ability the state’s new Accoutrements Restraining Order law, which provides a apparatus to get accoutrements out of the easily of provably alarming individuals. That law is a cogent footfall advanced to acclamation the affair of gun violence. I’ve additionally accurate the licensing of accoutrements dealers, to stop the actionable breeze of accoutrements into the easily of criminals, and added penalties on those who accomplish crimes with guns.
On-demand scheduling software now helps ample retail companies actuate how abounding agents associates they will charge on a circadian or alike hour-to-hour basis. The downside is that advisers may not accept their assignment schedules until the aftermost minute. Oregon and a cardinal of cities accept responded by adopting “fair scheduling” laws. Would it be adapted for the Illinois
Legislature to canyon a “fair scheduling” law? Please explain. What would such a law attending like?
Breen: At this point, we charge to focus on abbreviation the burdens on businesses, and abnormally those adverse baby businesses, and advice them actualize jobs and bread-and-er growth. In reviewing any regulation, my aboriginal catechism is “what are our aggressive states doing?”–that agency reviewing the behavior of the states that are now home to above Illinois businesses.
Should recreational marijuana be legalized in Illinois? Please explain.
Breen: The law administration association is acerb adjoin a all-encompassing amends and commercialization of recreational marijuana, and their apropos should be thoroughly investigated, discussed, and analyzed afore amends is considered.
Opioid overdoses and fatalities abide to acceleration in number. In Illinois in 2017, there were 13,395 opioid overdoses, including 2,110 deaths. What should the Legislature do, if anything, about this?
Breen: Opioid corruption has destroyed families and taken too abounding of our admired ones. I’m in favor of an all-of-the-above access on this subject, whether in attractive at alternatives to opioids, apprenticeship campaigns, and law administration and bent amends reforms, amid others.
The Approaching Activity Jobs Act, anesthetized in 2016, is breeding job advance in renewable activity and convalescent activity efficiency. Do you accede or disagree with the objectives and actuality of the Act? What added — or beneath — should be done?
Breen: I accurate the Approaching Activity Jobs Act, and I was accustomed this year by the Illinois Environmental Council with a 100% appraisement for my abutment of legislation attention our environment. The Act appears to be working, but due to its complexity, it’s taken a while to actually implement. There will accordingly be bumps in the road, which the Accepted Assembly should adviser and arbitrate to abode if necessary.
What would you do to ensure the abiding activity of the state’s Medicaid program? What is your appearance on managed affliction for Medicaid beneficiaries?
Breen: Every accompaniment has altered means of accouterment affliction for those on Medicaid, so as we attending at reforms, there are countless examples to draw upon. Whether you’re attractive at managed care, or some anatomy of alone accumulation accounts, or some of the avant-garde new medical convenance models across-the-board the country, let’s booty an honest look. The point is to get the best affliction accessible at the best price, and if there are bigger means to accomplish that goal, we should appraise them.
Underfunding at the Department of Corrections has led to adverse allegation by the accountant accepted that abounding inmates don’t accept casework or opportunities for assignment while incarcerated. Is this a accepted concern? What should the Legislature do?
Breen: One of the purposes of bastille is reformative, to accommodate the abutment all-important to the alone to be a advantageous affiliate of association aloft release. Whatever we charge to do to accompany that about, we should do. Assignment abilities are actually analytical to this–without those skills, you can’t get and accumulate a job. If association who accept been in bastille can acquisition acceptable jobs afterwards release, the incentives to accomplish crimes in the approaching acutely go way down.
Should the accompaniment restore the convenance of acquittal for bodies bedevilled to continued terms? Why or why not?
Breen: At this time, with the abhorrent abandon afflictive our communities, we charge to aboriginal focus on attention innocent association beyond our accompaniment who are at accident of grave harm. The victims charge to be our top priority.
Ahead of the celebrated 2018 elections, the Sun-Times is teaming up account with the Bigger Government Association, in book and online, to fact-check the artlessness of the candidates. You can acquisition all of the PolitiFact Illinois belief we’ve appear together here.
• ENDORSEMENT: Peter Breen for Illinois House in the 48th District
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